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My son's name is what?

One of Misun's tasks in Korea was to register our son as a citizen there. At this point, he can be a dual citizen until 18 and we want to let him make his own choices. So, Misun's dad drove her over to the government offices to fill out the paperwork and whatnot.

Korean names tend to be two syllables and each one is represented by a single Chinese character. One of those syllables is usually shared among all the boys of a particular family generation — in our case, that is 희 (hyee) with a Chinese character representing happy or joyful. Combined with 용 (Yong), which means dragon, he is happy dragon. Dragon is a strong animal and also represents both the year he was born and the year I was born. Add to that the fact that he was born smiling and it is perfect for him — I love it!

Misun doesn't get much practice with Chinese characters these days, so she asked her dad to write his name on the papers. After she gave them to the clerk, she picked up a dictionary(?) to take a look and then had to ask her dad to verify what he put down. It seems he chose the character for shiny instead of joyful. When pressed he simply said he liked it better and that he'd had her brother use it for his son, too! He just changed our son's name on a whim and, honestly, I think it's pretty hysterical.

Our Yong-Hyee will always be my Happy Dragon, but now he has one more story to tell — and it involves his grampa.